How to set my lights for octopus tank?

DWhatley

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#21
Your octopus will decide which areas it likes for a den but it will pick somewhere that you cannot see in. Typically, we try to aquascape for our own esthetics and often the octo will reject the area we have made, ie there is no known ideal setting, but will find or make a hiding place somewhere in the rockwork. You can provide a few loose ping pong ball and smaller sized rocks and shells that the octopus can easily move around to fashion doors,

Looking through the journals should help with ideas but here is a link to Maya's journal and a video of her moving a gorgonian to the front of her den. Just before doing this she had changed dens to an opening in the live rock across the tank. She decided she liked her original den better but wanted the "plant" that was in front of the abandoned new home. Sadly, all this effort was to establish a den to lay eggs but it was fascinating to watch.
 

sensei

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#22
Thanks DWhatly,

you were right, the octopus has rearranged some rocks in these 2 days.
I should not touch the rock work and let him do what ever he wants correct??

I programed my radiums with a 20K spectrum and I have noticed that he is not always hiding.
does this mean that he is not 100% nocturnal?
or should I wait the first month after he would be fully aclimated?


thanks again
 

DWhatley

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#23
In general, you cannot count on any behaviors to have lasting meaning until after about a month of aquarium life.

Yes, providing rock and shells to do her/his own decorating is advisable. It is unclear whether disrupting a den (even accidentally during cleaning) provides enrichment or stress. It is pretty clear that they don't "like" disruption that is not of their own making but if it is beneficial or stressful has not been studied.

If you are seeing hunting behavior under a daylight condition, it may mean that the animal is diurnal, crepuscular (early AM, early PM foraging) or getting close to laying eggs (obviously, only if female), Sadly, it is not at all uncommon for the later behavior to be observed in a new arrival. What is not clear is if the stress of capture and rehoming accelerates the time to brood or if the animal was more easily caught because she was out foraging in preparation for egg laying and a long starvation period.
 

sensei

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#24
DWhatly,

is there a way to know if my octo is male or female?
Octo has been eating everyday though.
I understand that they stop eating when about to lay eggs?

Thanks
 

DWhatley

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#25

sensei

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#26
Thanks DWhatley,
I just noticed a lot of holes in the photos of the octopus tank cover you posted. can I know why?

the acrilic cover I placed in my octopus tank does not have any holes, I have 3 covers over my tank and there are litle spaces between them. there is some condensation in the covers inside the tank but I never thought that could affect??

thanks again
 

DWhatley

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#27
The holes (we used a peg board as a template to get them evenly spaced) are to help with temperature control and air circulation. I believe it helps as we don't see condensation and the acrylic has warped only marginally over several years but all my octo tanks have similar venting so I don't have a comparison.
 

sensei

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#28
DWhatley,

today I found lots of what I think are eggs in octopus tank
please look at photo attached.
does this mean octo will die soon?
only female lay eggs correct?
can you confirm if these are eggs and if so will some hatch??
eggs.jpg
 

tonmo

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#29
They look pretty clear but let's see what D or others say.

Yes, only females lay eggs.
 

DWhatley

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#30
Yes, I am pretty sure those are octopus eggs and not eggs of some other animal. Yes, all octopuses have two distinct sexes and do not change sexual orientation. Sadly, yes, this means the female will die shortly after the eggs would hatch if they were fertile (fertility has nothing to do with her longevity). The length of time varies considerably even within species and does seem to be associated with whether or not she can be convinced to consume food. Since she has only been in an aquarium for a short time, there is a good chance the eggs are fertile.

The female should try to tend her eggs and keep them from predators and algae even if they are not fertile. You can watch for two black spots to appear on the eggs over the next couple of weeks. If eyes are detected, you will have hatchlings. If the mother dies before the eggs hatch or she abandons them (both are rare) keeping water flowing over them and removing any predators (including starfish/serpent stars, urchins) will likely get them through hatching. Unfortunately, I believe your female is a small egg animal and the chances of being able to raise any of the hatchlings for more than a few days is dismally small. Small egg hatchlings don't actually morph but are born as immature pelagic swimmer/floaters that continue to mature in the plankton (something akin to natural premature birth) and we have not figured out how to raise them to settlement.
 

sensei

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#31
Thanks for your answers

the Octopus seemed to like the spot were she layed the eggs.
I belive the eggs were layed in back glass of dt that is black and they fell down.
I still see some eggs attached to the back black glass.
you can see some black dots in some of the eggs.
the thing is that octopus is not beside the eggs now, octopus is hidden in dark cave while eggs are in visible corner of dt. does this mean anything'?
octopus accepted food yesterday and also 1 hour ago so she is eating.
This photo shows the corner of dt were eggs were layed. it was a regular spot of the octo even though it was not hidden
corner with octo eggs.jpg
photo of some eggs still in back black glass
eggs in back glass.jpg
some of the eggs have some black spots
eggs with black spots.jpg
please tell me what you think?

thanks a lot
 

DWhatley

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#32
You can experiment. I think the eggs are too much in the open for her to tend them. I would suggest trying to make a dark cave around some of the eggs to see if she will explore and tend them. Alternately/additionally, you could try moving the eggs (or some of them) to her current den.

The black spots definitely suggest at least some of the eggs are fertile and are developing.
 

sensei

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#33
Thanks DWhatley

yesterday night we saw that she had a lot of eggs in the dark cave were she was staying (much more than in the corner) . We also saw that she came out to look for something and in her way to the cave she dropped the eggs. Today the eggs are not in the corner any more, she took them overnight.

you told me that the possibility to raise any of the hatchlings for more than a few days is dismally small, but I think at least I should try. can you give me some suggestions on how to do it?

I ordered the koralias but I have not recieved them and since babies are in the way I think I should not install them and just try to raise the new borns with the return pump flow as it it now?

how do I avoid the hatchling going to the overflow?

thanks a lot for your answer
 

DWhatley

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#34
I did not mean to dissuade you from trying but wanted to prepare you for what to expect. At this point the task is to enjoy the experience and maybe see how long you can manage to keep a few hatchling alive. If I remember correctly, the longest was 21 days and a few others achieved 2+ weeks but most instances have been less than a week. From memory (ie I have never gone back and verified this statistically), the animals that survived the longest were the ones left in the hatching tank. If you separate some out -- recommended, feel free to experiment, temperature, flow and food, I suggest using water from the primary tank and not freshly made water as anecdotal evidence suggest major die offs occur right after water changes.

That being said, the few successes in public aquariums have been attributed to food supply and explicitly, providing live crab zoea (hatchling crabs). Not having a supply of even frozen hatchling crabs, you can be creative with what you attempt to feed but keep in mind the tiny size. If you live near the ocean, a plankton tow (dragging a fine net over sea grasses in shallow areas) is likely to include something edible. For cuttlefish hatchlings, mysis shrimp are the most successful food and I have found these shrimp to feed well on frozen daphnia. Perhaps live daphnia would be eaten.

Here is a link to more discussions on hatchlings. It contains links to all the info I have been able to collect (and remembered to include) over the years.
 

sensei

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#35
Thanks a lot DWhatley,

the octopus stays all the time in her cave now.
is it because she is tendering the eggs?

there is a small portion of the eggs that is in a different spot, will this eggs also hatch or does she need to tender them?
I ask becuase I would like to clean detrietus but when doing some of the eggs with be sucked out, but if they are not going to hatch anyway it may be better to do the cleaning??

any suggestion on the material that I need to place in the overbox box to avoid the hatchlings going in overflow?


best regards
 

DWhatley

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#36
She will not tend the eggs outside the den so feel free to experiment. The one time I had this situation, the eggs simply disappeared, however, there was a serpent star in the tank and it may have eaten them.

Keeping the hatchlings out of the overflow is going to be difficult because they stay pelagic for over a month. If you put any kind of screening, including sponge (my normal recommendation) the hatchlings are so small that they will get trapped. What do you have in the sump where the overflow empties? If you can add a filter sock there, that might be the best choice and then check it every couple of days. I have an unproven theory that filter socks may be a good way to initially raise and feed hatchlings based on a single incident with a large egg species. I had developed a series of socks to receive overflow water but never had the opportunity to try the experiment. Other than that, I would recommend watching the sump and retrieving any that end up there vs trying to block the overflow.
 

DWhatley

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#37

sensei

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#38
Thanks DWhatley, I will not put anything to block the overflow as you suggest.
I can put two filter socks in sump so that everything that goes down passes through the filter socks. I have 2 types of socks, one that is finer than the other one, not sure wich one to put?

I have a couple of questions:
1.- I did not place the koralias in the tank becuase they may hurt the hatchling and just have the flow of the return pump, but there is some algae starting to grow on rocks. do you agree with not placing the koralias in tank?

2.- you said:" she will not tend the eggs outside the den". If she does NOT tend the eggs, does that mean that those eggs will not hatch? I ask becuase I am not familar with the process and do not not know if eggs hatch even if they are left alone and not tended but her.

thanks for the link, I will read it
 

DWhatley

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#39
I am not sure if we fully know all the things a mother octopus' egg attention accomplishes but it is thought that she keeps them algae free, keeps predators away and allows fresh oxygen to get to the inner part of the cluster. There does not appear to be an chemical process involved and eggs have been hatched without maternal care where the mother has died, experiments on egg hatching were being observed and in facilities for commercial reproduction. From what I know of these successful attempts, the only extra element added was a flow of water on the eggs. I don't know how strong the flow was but would expect it be strong enough to gently move the eggs without removing them from the substrate. There would be no harm in moving them into a separate space to experiment.
 

sensei

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#40
Thanks for your answer DWhatley,

something strange happened today.

The octopus moved a lot of eggs outside her den.
She still has eggs beside her inside the cave but she moved around half outside .
Her cave is beside the rock were she moved the eggs.

does it make any sense to you??
please lot at this photo, as you can see there is a mountain of eggs now. you can se a lot of back dots in the eggs.

lots of octo eggs.jpg
thanks a lot
 

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